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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Gotta’ love dumb criminals

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:43 am

Lately I’ve been a bit down on all of the hard news that dominates the major news networks. So I’ve decided to turn that mess off and I have become addicted to “Dexter” – a Showtime TV series about a serial killer. Much more soothing to watch on a Monday night.

josh petersonBut in my recent lifestyle change that has left me watching a little less CNN, I have noticed I have missed some of the funny stories. Some of the “dumb criminals” that they will occasionally poke fun at. I shouldn’t say these criminals are “dumb” or “stupid” because that might be putting it too nicely. But this week, to fill a void, I’ve decided to explore some of the world’s “not-so-smart” criminals.

Knife to a gunfight. Not literally. But almost. I found this story of Derrick Mosely who strolled into a discount gun store with a baseball bat, smashed a glass display case and was looking to steal a firearm. In essence, he was trying to rob a GUN STORE with a baseball bat. It didn’t go well for him. The manager held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Imagine that.

I think what disturbs me is this guy actually took the time to think about this. Who carries around a baseball bat? So this wasn’t an impulse crime. The education system really failed this guy.

Identity crisis. A customer at Applebee’s handed a waitress her own stolen driver’s license to order alcohol.

The culprit was 26. She didn’t need to use a fake ID for alcohol. Attention to detail could make a better criminal.

Chopping trees. A lumberjack was walking down the street with an axe in hand and came across a bike that was chained around a tree. He wanted the bike so the axeman started to chop down the tree on a suburban street. He did chop the tree down, but local citizens chased him away before he could claim his prize.

What a mask. Two young fellas were looking to break into an apartment and decided that traditional masks wouldn’t be cool enough. Instead, these two geniuses decided to draw on their faces with permanent marker for a great disguise. It worked well, until they couldn’t get the marker off their face and were easily recognizable for police.

Banana gun. A 17-year-old in North Carolina entered an internet cafe and demanded money. He claimed to have a gun under his shirt. He was eventually restrained by two people and the “gun” turned out to be a banana. He ate the banana as police arrived, which could have been considered destroying evidence, couldn’t it? Maybe this guy and the gun-store robber should have a brainstorming session before the next big strike. It would only take about 15 seconds.

Night vision. James Blankenship broke into his mother’s home in broad daylight and bolted and hid when he was caught. I’m sure he was easy to identify for his MOTHER. Police found him hiding in a crawl space near the scene and arrested him, which was a big shock to him because he didn’t think he could be arrested for burglary because “it wasn’t night-time.”

I wonder who to blame all of this on? Lack of parenting? Is it Obama’s fault, as many would probably claim, or maybe the education system failed these guys?

Perhaps, as Ron White would say, you just can’t fix stupid.

 -Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the editor’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Click here to follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29